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Even as the world gradually opens up after the pandemic, many people still intend to work from home. Some are concerned about the health risks, others have commitments that make it difficult to work from the office, and some have simply gotten used to not having to commute.
Regardless of the reasons, it looks increasingly likely that working from home — or at least a hybrid system where employees work from home part of the time and onsite the rest of the time — will become the new normal even when COVID is no longer a serious threat.
However, although working from home definitely has its benefits, it’s not without its drawbacks. These include productivity and logistics, as well as issues that are on a more personal level.
For many people, one of the benefits of working from an office or other location was the social factor, or at least it was a way to get out of the house.
Workers got to meet and speak with other people and even form friendships with colleagues. However, these benefits all but disappear when people are working remotely from each other.
In many cases, this contributes to a decline in mental health.
While many people are more than happy working from home, others are not having such a positive experience.
According to one study, 67% of people feel less connected to their colleagues while working from home than they did working face-to-face.
Not only are these statistics worrying on a human level, but also on a corporate level. These conditions are likely to contribute to reduced employee satisfaction and lower productivity levels. U.S. businesses lose an average of $550 billion each year due to dissatisfied employees.
These figures present concerns for individuals and their employers, but there are steps that employers can take to help improve the situation for staff who are working remotely. One such solution lies in corporate online games.
Games are far from a new corporate tool, although the nature of games available has changed thanks to advances in technology. Historically, playing games together meant everybody had to get together physically. But that’s no longer the case thanks to the internet.
Not only are internet speeds increasing and gaming VPNs improving all the time, but also internet-based platforms and games are becoming more advanced.
And while video games used to be the domain of young people only, the variety of games has developed to the point where people of all ages can get involved.
While we’ve been focusing on video games, there’s no reason why employers can’t host online board games or think outside the box and create games themselves. All it takes is some creativity and basic supplies like playing cards or other props.
There are companies that specialize in organizing online games for staff to get involved in from remote locations. Everything is organized, and all your employers need to do is log on and join in the fun.
Regardless of which types of games you’re playing, the point is to get people involved, socializing with other people, and working together as a team.
Here’s what you should look for in a game that will help enhance your employees’ mental well-being and happiness while also boosting productivity.
Online corporate games should be fun. They should be something that your employees are eager to take part in. Let your employees get comfortable and let their hair down, forgetting about work tasks that are on their to-do list.
To add to the fun, add a competitive element. For example, you could create a team trivia game where different departments team up against each other, or allow employees to form their own teams however they like.
If you have the budget, prizes for the winners will help add even more excitement to the occasion. At the office, you could have a digital signage board showing teams and results, and you could even consider starting a league.
Get as many people involved as you can. That doesn’t mean just having them attend and sit in front of their screen watching everybody else enjoy themselves.
Get everybody participating as much as possible.
Consider everybody’s interests and backgrounds to create an event that will offer something for everybody. Ensuring the games are inclusive can be particularly helpful for new employees.
Bear in mind that the onboarding process is very important if employees are to feel at home and part of the team.
Inclusive games are a great way to introduce new recruits to the team and help them get to know everybody.
When people interact with each other, it’s a great way for them to get to know each other. Where you can, try to involve games that involve asking people about their interests and pastimes. For example, try games where somebody has to give clues about a hobby or interest, and others have to guess what it is.
When you encourage people to learn about each other, it helps build connections and helps employees feel closer to their colleagues. New friendships can start, and employees will feel more comfortable working with a company when they know they have friends working there also.
Games are one of the best ways to help teams come together to overcome obstacles. Focus on games that involve individuals having to pull together to solve problems. Ideally, the games should give everybody a role to play so all participants contribute.
Examples include puzzles that need to be completed against the clock or against another team. The pressure of having to complete the puzzle as a team could help people work better under pressure.
There’s no reason you can’t also learn while having a lot of fun, helping you kill two birds with one stone.
Making games that are educational as well as fun can help to add a training element.
Perhaps have people role play in particular positions of the company, which could help people understand each other’s roles better and even help co-workers discover interests outside of their present role. This could open up new career directions for employees within the company.
Games can offer so much more than just a way to have some fun. The right games can help bring everybody together, including new recruits and others on the staff who might feel distanced from the team.
They can help people form new relationships with each other, helping individuals realize that they are integral to the team. Games can also teach individuals to work together to help each other solve problems, which is a powerful team-building tool.
Overall, corporate online games can improve employee engagement. They can help employees feel happier in their role and eager to do their best. When your employees are happy working for your company and eager to do well, productivity rises across the business, turnover reduces, retention improves, and the bottom line improves.
Nicholas Rubright is a digital marketing specialist at Mvix — a company that provides digital signage to improve business communications. Nick has several years of experience writing and loves creating fresh content that is informative and helpful, usually revolving around marketing and business management. In his free time, Nicholas enjoys playing guitar, writing music, and building cool things on the internet.
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